Information Number eleven: There's
a lot of this kind of misinformation
going around the gardening world. One of the most misleading and egregious
instances is the use-instructions that one peatmoss producer printed on their
product bags encouraging consumers to use one to three inches of fresh peatmoss as a mulch. Is that crazy, or what? Gives
me the willies just thinking about it!
Why? Because peatmoss
on the soil surface
acts just like a sponge, drawing moisture from the soil to very quickly
evaporate into the air, that's why. Never - never - use peatmoss as
a mulch. A far preferable mulch choice would be fresh, correctly
made compost (or the sterilized kind offered bagged in retail outlets) or
clean shredded leaves or bark.
way...I don't recommend use of the recycled plastic or rubber mulch products
now showing up in garden supplies marketplaces. Shredded rubber tires and
plastic is not something we should be spreading around out gardens or
around the perimeter of our homes. Read more: Recycled
rubber or plastic as a mulch?)
And while we're on the subject of
peatmoss, far too many people
have been led to believe that the word "peatmoss" is synonymous
with "fertilizer" or "compost" when added on or to the soil.
Here's a surprise for you: peatmoss is utterly dead...virtually no
significant nutrition... certainly no recognizable life - like beneficial bacteria,
useful fungi - nothing. The stuff had been quietly decaying under
equally dead swamp water for thousands of years...until, in their race
for profits, massive corporations swoop in, drain the natural swamp, and with
gigantic vacuum machines harvest the material, shred it nearly into dust and
stuff it in bags printed with misleading depictions.
Sure, it's great for breaking up clay.
And yes, it does tend to retain some moisture when combined with typically
poor garden soil. And, it is true that peatmoss can add a certain amount of
organic material to poor soils. But "vitalize" and
"enrich"? Clearly not in that sense of those words..
That graphic on
this corporation's peatmoss bag depicts a man and woman out in the middle of
their lawn...with a tiny - laughable - digging tool only slightly more
effective than a dime-store trowel, a bag of peatmoss, and a balled tree
("balled" - the rootball is enclosed in coarse cloth, usually a
plastic product that will never decay, with the least-expensive and
utterly useless pale-tan-colored clay "soil" - weed-choked and
probably saturated with some so-called miracle-working collection of
chemicals). The guy is on his knees, has gouged a tiny hole in the
step, presumably, would be to toss in some (dead) peatmoss then stuff a
20-pound ball into a soda-can-size hole.
misleading bit of spurious information! Yet would-be gardeners gobble up
that sort of outrageously incongruous misinformation without question or
have nothing else [compost or composted/sterilized manure],
peatmoss is slightly better than nothing for "improving" soil.
But vitalizing, enriching, and nutrition? Not in this lifetime!
opinion? Stick with Mother Nature. Choose life... choose compost!
information on this site -
it Right the First Time!
a good plan!
Special Report (.pdf)—Just
about all you'll need to know about fertilizers.